Halifax should know more about a potential CFL team by end of October

Philip Croucher, StarMetro Halifax

Halifax could know by month’s end if the city is running towards the end zone or taking a sack when it comes to a potential CFL stadium and team.

According to TSN’s Dave Naylor, Halifax regional councillors are expected to get an update on Halifax potentially building an outdoor stadium and becoming the CFL’s 10th team by month’s end.

In an interview segment from Monday, Naylor told TSN host Rod Smith that council is expected to get an update on the progress towards a stadium and team at its Oct. 28th meeting.

Given Oct. 28th is a Sunday, Naylor is likely referring to the scheduled Oct. 30th council meeting.

He said it’s ‘tentatively scheduled’ that at this meeting, councillors will be given an update on negotiations with the ownership group.

He said if there’s “positive momentum” from that meeting with councillors, things could start happening very quickly.

“What that means is the group, CFL Atlantic, would be able to work with the city and try and finish this deal off with the province…and basically come back with a site and a total package with all the partners involved,” Naylor said on TSN.

Naylor went on to say if the “positive momentum” happens, don’t be surprised if in November a season ticket package campaign is started, along with a name that team contest.

In July, regional council directed staff to take the next steps towards getting a football stadium built in Halifax.

With a unanimous vote, council directed municipal staff to enter into talks with Maritime Football Ltd. and the provincial government “to explore opportunities and risks” associated with a stadium and Canadian Football League franchise for the municipality.

The public vote came about a month after council got an update from Maritime Football Ltd. — the group pursuing a CFL franchise for Halifax — behind closed doors, and Mayor Mike Savage vowed to hold future discussions in public.

That day, TSN’s Naylor reported that the group had reached an agreement with the CFL for a three-step process to secure the league’s 10th team, “with the details and conditions of the first step laid out on paper.”

The report from TSN said the team was hoping to join the league for the 2021 season.

Savage said at the time that council hadn’t heard any numbers and there was no specific funding request from Maritime Football Ltd., but some councillors have discussed possible funding arrangements.

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